Between the NFL, college football and the MLB playoffs, we just had a wild week in sports. Among the intriguing NFL storylines included the Patriots remaining undefeated with their victory over the injury-riddled Giants. Another undefeated team is the 49ers, who pulled off an impressive win on the road against the Rams. In a couple of high-scoring affairs, the Seahawks and Panthers also won their respective matchups against the Browns and Buccaneers.
The goal of this series is to rank the plays that made DraftKings Sportsbook users the most money during the week while analyzing the most compelling storylines. With the outcomes being recorded every week from Wednesday to Tuesday, this breakdown includes everything played from October 9-15.
1) Washington Nationals (5-0 Straight Up)
2) New England Patriots (1-0 SU)
3) Seattle Seahawks (1-0 SU)
4) New Orleans Saints (1-0 SU)
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0 SU)
6) New York Jets (1-0 SU)
7) Penn State (1-0 SU)
8) Carolina Panthers (1-0 SU)
9) Miami Florida (1-0 SU)
10) San Francisco 49ers (1-0 SU)
Nationals Advance to Franchise’s First World Series AppearanceThe Nationals made it into the playoffs via the Wild Card, but they have an imposing starting trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin that gives them a chance to be successful against even the most potent of lineups. They proved that in the first round, eliminating the Dodgers in five games. Their win on the road in Game 5 proved to be profitable for those who took a chance on them at the +150 money line.
They remained underdogs in Game 1 of the NLCS (+114 ML) against the Cardinals, but they started off the series on the right foot with a 2-0 win behind a great performance from Anibal Sanchez. They were favored in each of the following three games and lived up to expectations, sweeping the Cardinals and earning the franchise’s first World Series appearance.
Saints Win Defensive Slugfest Against JaguarsThe Saints are lucky to have a backup quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater. Since Drew Brees (thumb) went down, Bridgewater has been able to keep them on a winning path. Even with their continued success, the Saints found themselves as 3.0-point underdogs (+135) for their Week 6 bout on the road against the Jaguars.
It wasn’t pretty, but Bridgewater and the Saints pulled off the upset. Their defense was actually the driving force, limiting Gardner Minshew to just 163 passing yards. Although it took until the fourth quarter for the Saints to score a touchdown, Bridgewater’s touchdown pass to Jared Cook was the difference-maker in their 13-6 victory.
Steelers Win Behind Third-String QuarterbackFew teams have been as plagued by injuries at the quarterback position this season as the Steelers have. Already without Ben Roethlisberger (elbow), the team lost their top backup Mason Rudolph for Week 6 because of a concussion. That left them with Devlin Hodges to start on the road against the Chargers, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the Steelers as six-point underdogs (+250 ML).
As discouraging as things might have looked for the Steelers heading into the game, they couldn’t have started off any better. They quickly returned a fumble for a touchdown, then received two rushing touchdowns from James Conner on their way to a 24-0 lead through three quarters. Despite a couple of late touchdown receptions from Hunter Henry, the Steelers hung on for a 24-17 win, leaving those who backed the injury-riddled squad to win outright with a hefty payout.
Jets Shock Cowboys in Darnold’s ReturnThe other team that has been decimated by injuries at quarterback is the Jets. It’s the main reason they entered their matchup with the Cowboys sporting a 0-4 record. The good news was that Sam Darnold was returning for this bout after dealing with mono, but that didn’t stop them from being seven-point underdogs (+285 ML).
Darnold quickly made his presence felt, throwing two touchdowns in the second quarter that helped the Jets build a 21-6 halftime lead. However, the Cowboys still had plenty of fight in them, scoring a touchdown in the final minute to close the gap to 24-22 with a two-point conversion pending. However, Dak Prescott’s pass to Jason Witten fell incomplete, leaving the Jets with an improbable win.
Penn State, Miami Win Close ContestsIn a battle between two teams ranked inside the top 20, Penn State was a three-point favorite (-180 ML) despite being on the road against Iowa. It was a low-scoring contest, but Penn State took what looked to be a commanding 17-6 lead with just over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter on a Noah Cain five-yard touchdown run. Iowa did score a touchdown nearly two minutes later, but couldn’t complete a two-point conversion, ultimately leading to a 17-12 Penn State victory.
Miami entered their matchup versus Virginia as a 2.5-point favorite (-134 ML) in large part because they played the game at home. There wasn’t much scoring to speak of in this matchup, either, with Miami carrying a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter. After the two teams started out the fourth with a combined three field goals, Miami left those who backed them with some extra money in their pockets thanks to a three-yard touchdown run from N’Kosi Perry that gave them a 17-9 win.
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